Budapest, Szent György tér 2
Together with the nearby Chain Bridge, the spectacular Buda Castle serves as a magnificent icon of Budapest and Hungary. The Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the National Széchényi Library are now located in Buda Castle.
Buda Castle, perched high above Castle Hill, commands a breathtaking panorama of Pest and the Danube below. It’s a lot like the vistas at Fisherman’s Bastion, actually. The palace complex is especially stunning at dark, when both the Chain Bridge and the Castle are illuminated.
The Castle District, perched high above Budapest, has long been a defining feature of the city, and it currently serves as a major cultural and historical canter. Sándor Palace (Sándor-palota) is the official residence of the country’s President, and the seat of his office, as well as a wide range of museums and art galleries, the national archives, and the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya), both of which are part of the UNESCO world heritage site in Budapest.
Even among those who have not yet visited Budapest, the castle district is well-known. Visitors are captivated by the city’s historic architecture, the quaintness of its streets and alleys, and the panorama they afford. But what you don’t realize is that the area is filled with hidden gems simply begging to be discovered. However, the majestic Royal Palace, a portion of which has housed the Hungarian National Gallery since 1975, makes up for the lack of a castle in the town’s name.
You can take a bus or walk to the castle. The Castle slope funicular, which departs at the bottom of the slope next to the road tunnel opposite the Chain Bridge, is a more entertaining alternative. The funicular, only the second of its sort ever constructed, and the hill itself have both seen better days, but both were restored to its former glory after being damaged in World War II. Fun for kids and adults alike, this is a terrific way to see the city from above while also providing some great photo ops.
The greatest of Hungary’s culinary offerings can be sampled if you visit the city at the proper time of year. The Budapest Wine Festival and other events are traditionally held in the Castle, where you may sample a variety of Hungarian sausages, locally brewed beers, and, of course, pálinka, the country’s most famous spirit. There are also frequent concerts in the area, so whether you prefer Beethoven or jazz, you won’t be disappointed by the lineups.